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Artboards feedback

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Here's some feedback about the new Artboards functionality introduced with v1.3.5.7:

 

- It took me ages to find out how to add Artboards. Eventually I found it's a tool nested with the selection tool button. While I understand I can quickly switch to it the a keyboard shortcut, I think it's hard to find and access with the mouse. I'd make this a separate button in the toolbar.

 

- I'd separate layers from artboards, i.e. make a separate panel for listing artboards. I may need to select multiple objects contained in the same layer, but on different artboards (I'd have to select multiple layers now, which is not practical if I have several artboards

 

- Need number input to be able to customize artboard dimensions in toolbar (surely that's coming soon :)

 

- Need option to customize colour of background behind artboards. I'd prefer if the default is what you use for single artboard documents (dark).

 

- Need UI buttons (in artboard mode) to cycle through artboards at current zoom level. Perhaps placing it in the bottom "help bar"

 

- Need keyboard shortcuts to cycle through artboards at current zoom level

 

- Allow for direct ALT-drag of artboards without having to select an artboard first

 

- Allow for toggling duplicate mode (hold ALT) while dragging an artboard, instead of required ALT to be pressed before starting to drag. This helps compensate for error/forgetting to press-hold ALT before starting to drag to duplicate.

 

- Nice to have - ability to edit artboard name directly above the artboard

 

Other than that, great start with this feature. Thanks.

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- Allow for toggling duplicate mode (hold ALT) while dragging an artboard, instead of required ALT to be pressed before starting to drag. This helps compensate for error/forgetting to press-hold ALT before starting to drag to duplicate.

 

This applies to duplicating in general. Also a visual update of the tool icon (arrow plus “+”) would help. You don’t have to look any further than the OS X Finder.

 

+1 to your other points too.

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Hi sergio,

Thanks for your feedback.

Some of those things are already possible:

With an artboard selected you can use the Transform panel to change its dimensions; You can also set you own custom View Points (both what you want to view and at what zoom level): go to the Navigator panel click on the menu on the top right and enable Advanced mode. In Advanced mode set the canvas view as you want then click on the cog icon on the bottom of the Navigator panel and select Add to save that View Point. You can also rename and remove them there.

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Here's some feedback about the new Artboards functionality introduced with v1.3.5.7:

 

- It took me ages to find out how to add Artboards. Eventually I found it's a tool nested with the selection tool button. While I understand I can quickly switch to it the a keyboard shortcut, I think it's hard to find and access with the mouse. I'd make this a separate button in the toolbar.

 

You can add the artboard tool as a separate button by going to customise toolbar in the view menu

 

- Need number input to be able to customize artboard dimensions in toolbar (surely that's coming soon :)

 

If you select an artboard using the artboard tool, you can customise its height, width and position using the transform tab. Additional controls on the context toolbar would also be nice though

 

The rest are great ideas so hopefully we'll be able to include some if not all of them

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- I'd separate layers from artboards, i.e. make a separate panel for listing artboards. I may need to select multiple objects contained in the same layer, but on different artboards (I'd have to select multiple layers now, which is not practical if I have several artboards

 

 

 

A separate Artboard management adds vagueness: which layer belong to artboard?

This is the question I always ask myself when I open the layer palette of an Illustrator file with artboards...

To have a stack of layers enclosed in an artboard is really useful to me.

 

Probably Layers is no more the perfect name for it because it does much more... But this Layers palette is a huge strength in AD, and offers a clever approach. 

Moreover now you can create a sort of "shared-layer" above (or below) all artboards, so the illustrator-way can be reproduced.

 

Cross-artboard layer selection works fine... What do you mean?

 

 

 

 

- Allow for toggling duplicate mode (hold ALT) while dragging an artboard

 

In AD the modifier for duplicating is CMD and not ALT, using CMD the Artboard cloning works as for other elements.

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If you select an artboard using the artboard tool, you can customise its height, width and position using the transform tab. Additional controls on the context toolbar would also be nice though

 

The rest are great ideas so hopefully we'll be able to include some if not all of them

 

This is a bit too implicit Chiris_K...  :huh:

I have the possibility to modify artboard attributes using Select/Arrow Tool (width/height/scaling included).

I would expect to input values in Transform Studio too.

 

As a user I'd like to keep all these possibilities in a single tool.

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Thanks for everyone's reactions.

 

You can also set you own custom View Points (both what you want to view and at what zoom level): go to the Navigator panel click on the menu on the top right and enable Advanced mode. In Advanced mode set the canvas view as you want then click on the cog icon on the bottom of the Navigator panel and select Add to save that View Point. You can also rename and remove them there.

 

 

If you're referring to the possibility of keeping the same zoom level when cycling through artboards, I'm not sure if that makes sense, since I'm not aware of any buttons/shortcuts to go to the previous/next artboard.

 

 

You can add the artboard tool as a separate button by going to customise toolbar in the view menu

 

 

That could help for now, but it's sort of messed up because of this bug. Still, it wouldn't solve the problem of easily discovering the artboard tool for new users.

 

 

If you select an artboard using the artboard tool, you can customise its height, width and position using the transform tab. Additional controls on the context toolbar would also be nice though

 

 

Thanks.

 

 

A separate Artboard management adds vagueness: which layer belong to artboard?

This is the question I always ask myself when I open the layer palette of an Illustrator file with artboards...

To have a stack of layers enclosed in an artboard is really useful to me.

 

Probably Layers is no more the perfect name for it because it does much more... But this Layers palette is a huge strength in AD, and offers a clever approach. 

Moreover now you can create a sort of "shared-layer" above (or below) all artboards, so the illustrator-way can be reproduced.

 

Cross-artboard layer selection works fine... What do you mean?

 

 

I'm not sure what kind of work do you do in AD, but I expect to do the same I do in Illustrator, which is basically UI and light DTP design. Often I have items in different artboards in the same layer because I need to quickly select all of them to adjust somehow (symbols wouldn't help here since it may be different types of object on the same layer). IMO layers and artboards don't serve the same purpose, and mixing them in the same panel only adds clutter in that panel.

 

 

In AD the modifier for duplicating is CMD and not ALT, using CMD the Artboard cloning works as for other elements.

 

 

That's not correct. Either CMD or ALT can be used as modifier keys to duplicate content via drag and drop.

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IMO layers and artboards don't serve the same purpose, and mixing them in the same panel only adds clutter in that panel.

A possible solution to layers-and-artboards interference issues in one panel: The layers panel only showing items of the chosen artboard. Then there’d be another panel – it might as well be named „Pages“ – for chosing the artboard (or page). Hell, instead of a new panel it might even be just a new button in the Layers panel listing the artboards (just like the viewpoints in the new Navigator panel).

 

The idea is that the user is likely to be only interested in working on the elements of the artboard he/she currently uses. This solution would mean less clutter and no hierarchy confusions.

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A possible solution to layers-and-artboards interference issues in one panel: The layers panel only showing items of the chosen artboard. Then there’d be another panel – it might as well be named „Pages“ – for chosing the artboard (or page). Hell, instead of a new panel it might even be just a new button in the Layers panel listing the artboards (just like the viewpoints in the new Navigator panel).

 

The idea is that the user is likely to be only interested in working on the elements of the artboard he/she currently uses. This solution would mean less clutter and no hierarchy confusions.

 

But that would miss the use case I mentioned previously, i.e. selecting objects in a single layer, but located in different artboards. I find that really valuable and saves a lot of time in many tasks.

 

I think the ideal here would be an option - show everything in one panel or show artboards and layers in separate panels.

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Hi Sergio,

you are right, one layer for different artboards wouldn’t work with my suggestion. But I see no drawback here and that is because I see no use case for this. Which does not mean there is none.

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I'm not sure what kind of work do you do in AD, but I expect to do the same I do in Illustrator, which is basically UI and light DTP design. Often I have items in different artboards in the same layer because I need to quickly select all of them to adjust somehow (symbols wouldn't help here since it may be different types of object on the same layer). IMO layers and artboards don't serve the same purpose, and mixing them in the same panel only adds clutter in that panel.

 

 

 

Intensive UI and some illustrations.

Let's make an example:

 

I have lots of views (artboards), something like 50, some of them including these layers

_modal
_status_bar
_viewport
   _header
   _main
   _footer

Some other having a totally different layout.

The AD solution allows me to turn off _modal in some of them very quickly, without crawling around...

 

In Illustrator to do this I have to create one layer per artboard, name it as relative artboard, then use sub layers and replicate its hierarchy...

At the end of the process... The Adobe Layers palette looks the very same of AD's one...  :)

 

AD_vs_AI.png

 

So I don't really see the need of Artboard Panel...

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> The AD solution allows me to turn off _modal in some of them very quickly, without crawling around...

 

That's a great example. In illustrator, you turn off all modals with one click. In the current AD version, you'd have to turn off _modal layers one by one for each artboard.

 

 

> The Adobe Layers palette looks the very same of AD's one...

 

I don't see artboards in the layers panel in Illustrator... Either you arranged that manually, or there's an option to mix.

 

 

> So I don't really see the need of Artboard Panel...

 

Ordering artboards for instance. Having a list of all artboards for quick management (e.g. renaming, re-ordering)

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In illustrator, you turn off all modals with one click. In the current AD version, you'd have to turn off _modal layers one by one for each artboard.

 

 

 

But I don't want to do this...  :)

If I'd need your scenario I'd rather place _modals in a layer outside all artboards and I'm done.

 

 

I don't see artboards in the layers panel in Illustrator... Either you arranged that manually, or there's an option to mix.

 

 

In Ai I usually create a layer named as the artboard, that contains all the sub-layers related.

This is the way I deal with UI stuff in Ai when a customer asks for Illustrator for some reasons.

 

Otherwise I use mainly Sketch for UI and it works as AD.

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I'm all in for a separate artboard panel.

Layers are not artboards.

FreeHand had it separated and it was great.

I used to have a layer named Ref where I would put all the images (usually bitmaps) used for reference or tracing.

Also, a layer named Text where all the text would go.

And I could turn off the Ref of Text layers to hide them in ALL artboards.

Being able to do this sort of organization is tremendous.

 

freehand_document_inspector.png

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I tried creating three artboards and a layer above them to place the text.

I created several text boxes that reside in the area of each artboard but are inside the Text layer, above all artboards.

The text doesn't get attached to the artboards. This means that, if I want to organize the artboards (move them) and have the text move also, I have to select the artboard and everything inside it.

Possible to make it work, but cumbersome :(

Well, I can get used to this. I was just too used to the way FreeHand had it implemented.

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The AD devs must be watching in horror as this discussion is so mixed on how things should be.  :rolleyes:

 

I see both points people make. There must be some way to get best of both worlds. I would prefer artboards to be separated myself. The layer panel gets cluttered now with all the artboards + selecting artboards as layers is annoying currently. I often move the artboards by accident, and if I lock the artboard to stay in place also locks content. 

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Also, I tried to export the multi-artboard + independent layer document as a PDF (Whole Document) and the multi-page PDF that resulted from it does not include the content of the independent layer.

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The AD devs must be watching in horror as this discussion is so mixed on how things should be.

[…] I would prefer artboards to be separated myself.

 

 

Guess I’m biased but it looks like the majority of people involved here would like to have it your (and my) way. Not that design should be democratic …

 

But if it is true what is stated earlier and “pages” will eventually come as well (linked to Publisher?) then most of this discussion concerning artboards might be moot anyway.

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First off, you definitely need an artboard panel.

 

A possible solution to layers-and-artboards interference issues in one panel: The layers panel only showing items of the chosen artboard. Then there’d be another panel – it might as well be named „Pages“ – for chosing the artboard (or page). Hell, instead of a new panel it might even be just a new button in the Layers panel listing the artboards (just like the viewpoints in the new Navigator panel).

The idea is that the user is likely to be only interested in working on the elements of the artboard he/she currently uses. This solution would mean less clutter and no hierarchy confusions.

 

 

I like this idea,  it could be a great happy medium.

 

It should to be toggleable(similar the the current layer editing toggle), you'd add a little extra confusion and a ton of extra clicks if you only see layers on the current selected board. 

 

The suggestion of the workflow in your case would currently be: expose artboard panel > select board > return to layer panel > layer panel shows artwork on selected board.

 

Ideally it would be - select object on any board in viewport or artboard panel > (if artboard-only layer visibility is toggled) layer panel shows artwork on selected board.

 

You wouldn't have to round trip to the artboard panel at all, and with one click, you get all of your layers back. Maybe with a simple (And differently designed, think more bookmark than parent > child) representation of artboards in the layer stack when the toggle is off.

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The suggestion of the workflow in your case would currently be: expose artboard panel > select board > return to layer panel > layer panel shows artwork on selected board.

 

Ideally it would be - select object on any board in viewport or artboard panel > (if artboard-only layer visibility is toggled) layer panel shows artwork on selected board.

 

I think an Artboard panel is not even needed to make this work fluently. Only a selection field in the Layers panel (with the same functional elements the viewpoint selector in the Navigator panel has).

 

To show the layer contents of a given artboard you’d just click on any element within this artboard (or chose the artboard in the Layers panel selection field) – boom! – artboard is selected/Layer panel shows corresponding elements.

 

Even with artboards and layers being conceptually separated they might still access objects placed on the same layers. The huge benefit of this would be that we could toggle layer visibility document wide (e. g. text layers for different languages or different background artworks). See rui_macs post #14.

 

All this comes under the precondition that there will be no additional “pages” paradigm (somehow liked to the identical file format with Publisher) in the near future.

 

Edit:

Just read here that page support will come …

Edited by Matthias

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This is a video about the solution I found "spontaneously" to solve the shared layer thing...

And it seems to work.

 

 

I tried creating three artboards and a layer above them to place the text.

I created several text boxes that reside in the area of each artboard but are inside the Text layer, above all artboards.

The text doesn't get attached to the artboards. This means that, if I want to organize the artboards (move them) and have the text move also, I have to select the artboard and everything inside it.

Possible to make it work, but cumbersome :(

Well, I can get used to this. I was just too used to the way FreeHand had it implemented.

 

 

I think this thing could be fixed... In my case the layer snaps back to overlapping artboard.

 

Matt spoke about a "pre" Artboard implementation, so we have only to wait...  :)

I'm sure he'll find the most elegant way to sort out anything. 

 

 

 

 

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Hi paolo,

I've tried that as well, but there's still some issues with it (besides the one rui_mac mentioned). If you draw something in one of the artboards in the canvas the object will be created inside the Artboard you've drawn in the layers panel even if you first select the layer outside the Artboards (i believe this is what you're describing too when you said "the layers snaps back to overlapping artboard" but i'm not sure). To avoid this i've tried to nest two artboards inside one master artboard, which seems to solve that issue, but then it will eventually create more problems, besides the additional clutter. As you said this is still the first implementation of artboards and i'm not yet sure about the direction the devs are taking. Matt mentioned some of the issues that still must be worked (from snapping to guides, grids, slices, export etc) so there's still a lot to be refined/finished until we can see how all this is supposed to work.

Hopefully with the next Betas things will become more clear.

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Using the beta for UI design so far I love the way that artboards are designed and working currently. This seems to be how the latest versions of Photoshop are solving for it as well—to me it's less confusing to have artboards incorporated with the layers panel.

 

This is just me, but I typically design by modules/sections of content, not by content types. So text, images, etc. are organized and moved around structurally. So for me it's a pretty rare case that I'm using layers that apply to multiple artboards, since the artboards are used for separations of concerns (content areas).

 

Of course this would be a bit different if we were planning for page layout, but that's what nifty Publisher pages will be for. :)

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This is a video about the solution I found "spontaneously" to solve the shared layer thing...
And it seems to work.

 

Thanks for this idea, Paolo, I tried my luck as well. But I still believe there’s a logical problem. As long as you hold fast onto the premise that layers “within” an artboard must be descendants (children, grand-children, …) of that very artboard in the layers hierarchy, there will always emerge a certain conflict with the current layers logic, when you start to introduce shared layers of the intended kind. That reminds me of another, earlier discussion:

 

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/14652-affinity-designer-customer-beta-1357/?p=65587

 

You will note, that you cannot clip any of the shared layers in your video to one of the artboards (or they “snap back” to an artboard, which means that they get children of that artboard and are no longer “shared” layers). The so-called “shared layers” reside on a different logical place in the layers hierarchy. They are not really “shared” among the artboards, but objects besides and independent of these artboards. So unfortunately, I don’t believe that this is a viable solution for the shared content problem …  :unsure:

 

Nevertheless all this is very interesting, and I am curious how artboards will be finally implemented …  :)

Cheers, Alex  

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